The wedding day is very special. However, the days before the ‘I do’ should also be filled with memorable moments. Fernanda Langhammer visited Dar Wafa to try one of their bridal packages, and left ready to renew her vows.
We are well-served with spas in Bahrain. However, I doubt that any of them offer an authentic Morrocan experience as Dar Wafa does. The building itself is like a piece of Marrakesh that has been placed right in one of the busiest areas of Adliya. Its ochre-orange walls and big, bright blue wooden door set the vibe.
After stepping inside, I felt transported – it was like a portal that took me to a cosy and welcoming Moroccan villa, someone’s home, Wafa’s house (Dar means house, and it is not a coincidence). The interior is full of character; every corner had something to catch my attention, colourful tiles on the floor and unique objects decorating the space. Dar Wafa has different areas; on the right, you find the hair and nail room with comfy light pink chairs, funky cactus wallpaper and big arched windows with intricate patterns letting the natural light enter the space. The typical circles and triangles in symmetric and repetitive ways seen in Moroccan architecture are spotted everywhere. If you move forward from the reception, you find a lovely living room (with a classical piano) that connects the Hammam chambers, massage rooms and changing area and also leads to the outside space. A pool with groovy floaters, loungers and stairs leading to a massive rooftop – perfect for events, birthdays and bridal showers. If you have never been to Marrakesh, visiting Dar Wafa will give you a glimpse of what to expect.
This month’s issue is dedicated to weddings, so I tried one of their bridal packages. Dar Wafa offers tailored bridal showers, always adding a Morrocan touch. The packages are customised according to the number of people and preferred services. According to Ouafa Moussi, the owner of Dar Wafa, in Morocco, before a wedding, the bride, her sisters and her girlfriends go to the local Hammam for a joyful day. They bathe, sing and dance together, a ritual that has been going on for generations and is still popular to this day – and she wants to share this tradition with the brides in Bahrain.
I am married but never had a bridal shower, so I was excited to be pampered like a bride at least once. It was great to see how happy and in harmony the staff were working together; they complemented the vibrant ambience. Modeste, the hairdresser, started my beautification journey by applying a hair treatment to my locks with Lealeen Caviar Hair Mask for deep moisturising. I was then guided by Asma, the Hammam therapist, to one of the chambers. The space was covered in brown and green tiles with a tap and two brass buckets; it felt really authentic! Hammam is all about cleansing, but each place does it with its own twist. Asma explained that she was going to perform the Signature Dar Wafa Hammam. The first step was to remove body lotion and perfume with water. It’s important to highlight for those who have never experienced this treatment that you only wear disposable underwear during the whole process, and a lot of water and washing are included with moments of standing and lying on a tiled bed. Asma then applied Moroccan black soap to my entire body, left the room and turned the steam on for about five minutes. After the soap was washed away, she scrubbed my skin with a loofah to remove dead cells (my last Hammam was a few years ago, so there were lots of them to extract). My body was cleaned with water again, and it was time for a sugar scrub that smelled delicious; more water to remove the scrub. She then put a mask on my face and Moroccan Sokla (a paste made with oils and small exfoliation granules) on my whole body; these were also washed away after a while. All the products used are from the Jardin Flamingo brand with aker fassi (an ingredient made with dried poppy petals and pomegranate rind known for their moisturising, softening and anti-toxin properties). I left the Hammam space feeling super light as if a heavy weight had been lifted from my body. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a transformative experience.
I then moved to the massage room. Pamela, the masseuse, told me I would experience a hot stone massage with a Dar Wafa twist. The room was dark as the natural light from outside had faded – perfect timing for an indulgent moment. She started with my back and left some hot stones on my spine while moving to the other parts, with a mix of movements both with and without the stones. The benefit of the heat from the smooth, round rocks is to get deep into the skin and muscles, relaxing and relieving tension. As a runner, this type of massage was spot on for me. The twist at the end came in the form of very hot towels embracing my limbs – one word for the feeling: wow! Pure relaxation.
After the treatment, I got back into my clothes and met Modeste again for a blow dry. My tresses were super soft and, in no time, my usually curly hair was straight and bouncy!
For a personalised touch, brides receive a special bridal basket with pink slippers and towels, a lovely white bride robe for the lady of the hour and pink ones for her girlfriends. If you want more, they also offer catering options, entertainment such as belly dancers and a lady DJ, flowers, décor and giveaway gifts. If you are planning a memorable bridal shower, Dar Wafa is the place to go!